Gillibrand calls for release of USDA rural broadband funding

WASHINGTON (WCAX) New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is calling for the Trump Administration to release millions of dollars for rural broadband.

Congress allocated $100-million in the CARES Act for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's ReConnect program to provide loans and grants for construction, improvement and acquisition of broadband facilities and equipment in eligible areas.

The law was signed March 27th, but Gillibrand says only a small fraction of that money has been spent. "Tens of millions of dollars allocated specifically for this problem are just sitting there as families needlessly struggle. That's unacceptable," she said.

According to a recent FCC study, 1 in 4 rural Americans lack fixed high-quality broadband access compared to just 2 in 100 in urban areas.